Wednesday, July 09, 2014


Filippo Lippi (1406 – 8 October 1469)
Natività di Cristo fra San Giorgio e San Vincenzo Ferrer
Nativity of Christ between St George and St Vincent Ferrer
Tempera and gold on wood panel
Museo di Palazzo Pretorio, Prato

Filippo Lippi  (1406 – 8 October 1469) and Fra Diamante ( c. 1420 –  after 1498)
Madonna della Cintola (Assunta con Santa Margherita, donatrice e Bartolomea de 'Bovacchiesi),  San Gregorio magno, San Tommaso, Sant'Agostino e l'arcangelo Raffaele con Tobiolo) 
Madonna of the Girdle (Assumption with St Margaret, donor (Bartolomea de 'Bovacchiesi), St Gregory the Great, Saint Thomas, St Augustine and the Archangel Raphael with Tobias)
c. 1456-1465
Tempera and gold on wood panel
199 x 191 cm
Museo di Palazzo Pretorio, Prato

Filippo Lippi (1406 – 8 October 1469)
Madonna col Bambino
Madonna with the Child Jesus
Collezione Banca Popolare di Vicenza
Galleria di Palazzo degli Alberti, Prato

Donatello (1386-1466)
Madonna col Bambino con angelo e profeto
Tabernacle of Madonna and Child with angel and prophet
96,7 x 67,5 cm
Museo di Palazzo Pretorio, Prato

Paolo Uccello (1397-1475)
Adorazione del Bambino con i santi Gerolamo, Maria Maddalena e Eustachio 
Adoration of the Child Jesus with Saints Jerome, Mary Magdalene and Eustachius
Tempera and gold on wood panel
Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe 

The city of Prato between Pisa and Florence commissioned artists of the calibre of Donatello, Michelozzo, Maso di Bartolomeo, Paolo Uccello  and Filippo Lippi

In his youth Donatello realised a Madonna and Child with Two Angels

Again as a young man Uccello made frescoes of St Stephen and the Virgin  in  the Duomo of St Stephen

But it is Filippo Lippi who dominates the artistic  landscape in Prato. His sojourn in the 1450s - 1470s left an indelible impression on the city

The theme is mainly about Mary and the Child Jesus

About 994, there was an appearance of the Virgin Mary near the village of Borgo al Cornio (the present center of Prato). A small church was built on the site which is now the site of the Cathedral

Later in the fourteenth century came the devotion to the Sacra Cintola

In the Duomo there are frescoes of Lippi depicting the lives of St John the Baptist and St Stephen (the patronal saint of Prato)

Filippo Lippi 1406 – 8 October 1469
Details of The Story of John the Baptist
The Duomo, Prato

Unfortunately Robert Browning in his poem Fra Lippo Lippi (1855)  made a mistake when he thought the frescoes in Prato Cathedral were of St Stephen and St Lawrence
"323 I painted a Saint Laurence six months since
324 At Prato, splashed the fresco in fine style:
325 "How looks my painting, now the scaffold's down?"
326 I ask a brother: "Hugely," he returns--
327 "Already not one phiz of your three slaves
328 Who turn the Deacon off his toasted side,
329 But's scratched and prodded to our heart's content,
330 The pious people have so eased their own
331 With coming to say prayers there in a rage:
332 We get on fast to see the bricks beneath.
333 Expect another job this time next year,
334 For pity and religion grow i' the crowd--
335 Your painting serves its purpose!" Hang the fools!"

Other notable artists around this time in the city were the Master of the Nativity of the Castle (Maestro della Natività di Castello) and  Fra Diamante.

Later his Lippi`s son,  Filippino Lippi, carried on the tradition

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